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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Gardeners' Question Time

I know most people use their Blogs to moan about something or other but I resolved to keep positive and cut out the whingeing. There is something which I feel I have to get off my chest, however: The BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/) is an excellent organisation that produces some very fine and thought-provoking radio programmes including “Thinking Allowed” with Laurie Taylor , “The Material World” ( excruciating puns and quips amid the science and technology) with Quentin Cooper and most of its comedy shows on Radio 4, not to mention Lucie Skeaping on Radio 3. Nevertheless, the charge of dumbing down is proved with such backbone programmes as “Gardeners’ Question Time”. GQT used to be inspirational and aspirational. It dealt with double digging the allotment, top pruning an orchard, clipping the yew hedging. It made use of strong chemicals and back-breaking toil. It wasn’t anything we would engage in but it set a bench mark for all gardeners. It was heroic. “This is what proper gardening is about.” it said. Now what do we get but vine weevils on house plants or pot plants for the patio? It’s all so damned trivial we don’t care any more. And Fred Loads and Bill Sowerbutts and Professor Alan Gemmell are no doubt turning in their double-dug graves.

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